A report has claimed that Manchester United have former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane on standby to replace José Mourinho at Old Trafford, while the Portuguese coach claimed the club's board sent him a vote of confidence via text message.
According to the Mirror, the board are still not fully convinced in Mourinho's ability to succeed with his side - despite their dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Saturday - and have lined up Zidane to wait in the wings should the 'Special One' slip up again. The report claims that senior figures at the club believe Zidane would provide a major morale boost to the team.
However, Mourinho has claimed that he has the backing of the board, and revealed (via the Times) that they sent him a text message to reassure him of his future. The 55-year-old said: "The ones that read the papers, that are connected with social media, they thought maybe I had gone. If I hadn’t had an SMS from my board not to read (the papers) I would have been convinced too.”
United's stunning comeback against the Magpies certainly seems to have saved his bacon for the time being, but there is clearly much work ahead both on and off the pitch if Mourinho is to secure his long-term future at the club. Zidane is reportedly eager to manage in the Premier League, and could well be offered a chance to succeed in England should Mourinho depart.
Meanwhile, a report has revealed that United would be forced to shell out around £29m in compensation should they sack the former Chelsea boss in the coming weeks. It is believed that aims that Mourinho's legal team would demand to be paid all £14.5m of his remaining contract, as well as additional fees that could double the compensatory costs.